Swedish pop duo Roxette is one of those acts who impacted the music of the U.S. for only a short time, but whose international reach went much farther. They only charted here with a few singles over a few years as the 80s’ melded into the 90’s, but in that brief window they helped define the sound of popular music during that time. Meanwhile, they had 19 Top-40 hits in the UK, and they are still charting in their home country of Sweden.
“The Look” first appeared on Roxette’s album Look Sharp! in 1989, and is widely considered to be the duo’s breakout hit, charting in 24 countries and hitting No. 1 in the U.S. for the first time. Look Sharp! went on to sell 9 million albums worldwide. From this point, Roxette would hit No.1 in the U.S. three more times before changing musical tastes caused Americans to lose interest. Meanwhile, “The Look”, a sparse arrangement combining solid rock guitar riffs with high-powered electro elements, remains one of Roxette’s best-remembered tunes. It’s my personal favorite from the band.